Nous N'Avons Jamais Ete Modernes

ISBN-10: 0674948394
ISBN-13: 9780674948396
Edition: 1993
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Description: With the rise of science, we moderns believe, the world changed irrevocably, separating us forever from our primitive, premodern ancestors. But if we were to let go of this fond conviction, Bruno Latour asks, what would the world look like? His  More...

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Book details

Copyright year: 1993
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 10/15/1993
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 168
Size: 5.75" wide x 9.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.770
Language: English

With the rise of science, we moderns believe, the world changed irrevocably, separating us forever from our primitive, premodern ancestors. But if we were to let go of this fond conviction, Bruno Latour asks, what would the world look like? His book, an anthropology of science, shows us how much of modernity is actually a matter of faith. What does it mean to be modern? What difference does the scientific method make? The difference, Latour explains, is in our careful distinctions between nature and society, between human and thing, distinctions that our benighted ancestors, in their world of alchemy, astrology, and phrenology, never made. But alongside this purifying practice that defines modernity, there exists another seemingly contrary one: the construction of systems that mix politics, science, technology, and nature. The ozone debate is such a hybrid, in Latour's analysis, as are global warming, deforestation, even the idea of black holes. As these hybrids proliferate, the prospect of keeping nature and culture in their separate mental chambers becomes overwhelming--and rather than try, Latour suggests, we should rethink our distinctions, rethink the definition and constitution of modernity itself. His book offers a new explanation of science that finally recognizes the connections between nature and culture--and so, between our culture and others, past and present. Nothing short of a reworking of our mental landscape. We Have Never Been Modern blurs the boundaries among science, the humanities, and the social sciences to enhance understanding on all sides. A summation of the work of one of the most influential and provocative interpreters of science, it aims at saving what is good and valuable in modernity and replacing the rest with a broader, fairer, and finer sense of possibility.

Bruno Latour is Professor and Vice-President for Research at the Sciences Po, Paris.

Acknowledgements
Crisis
The Proliferation of Hybrids
Retying the Gordian Knot
The Crisis of the Critical Stance
1989: The Year of Miracles
What Does It Mean To Be A Modern?
Constitution
The Modern Constitution
Boyle and His Objects
Hobbes and His Subjects
The Mediation of the Laboratory
The Testimony of Nonhumans
The Double Artifact of the Laboratory and the Leviathan
Scientific Representation and Political Representation
The Constitutional Guarantees of the Modern
The Fourth Guarantee: The Crossed-out God
The Power of the Modern Critique
The Invincibility of the Moderns
What the Constitution Clarifies and What It Obscures
The End of Denunciation
We Have Never Been Modern
Revolution
The Moderns, Victims of Their Own Success
What Is a Quasi-Object?
Philosophies Stretched Over the Yawning Gap
The End of Ends
Semiotic Turns
Who Has Forgotten Being?
The Beginning of the Past
The Revolutionary Miracle
The End of the Passing Past
Triage and Multiple Times
A Copernican Counter-revolution
From Intermediaries to Mediators
Accusation, Causation
Variable Ontologies
Connecting the Four Modern Repertoires
Relativism
How to End the Asymmetry
The Principle of Symmetry Generalized
The Import-Export System of the Two Great Divides
Anthropology Comes Home from the Tropics
There Are No Cultures
Sizeable Differences
Archimedes' coup d'eacute;tat
Absolute Relativisim and Relativist Relativism
Small Mistakes Concerning the Disenchantment of the World
Even a Longer Network Remains Local at All Points
The Leviathan is a Skein of Networks
A Perverse Taste for the Margins
Avoid Adding New Crimes to Old
Transcendences Abound
Redistribution
The Impossible Modernization
Final Examinations
Humanism Redistributed
The Nonmodern Constitution
The Parliament of Things
Bibliography
Index

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